Friday, February 11, 2011

The WTA Has A New Top Dog

by Savannah

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The Official WTA Statement

Friday, February 11, 2011

KIM CLIJSTERS BECOMES WTA WORLD NO.1

Four-time Grand Slam Champion regains top ranking for the first time since March 2006


PARIS, FRANCE – By reaching the semifinals at the 2011 Open GDF SUEZ, Kim Clijsters will return to the
top of the WTA Rankings on Monday, February 14, 2011. Clijsters will surpass the current World No.1
Caroline Wozniacki who has held the top spot for 18 consecutive weeks since October 11, 2010. Clijsters
will be ranked WTA World No.1 for the fourth time in her career and will climb to the top of the WTA
Rankings for the first time since March 19, 2006. It has been 256 weeks since the last time Clijsters was
World No.1, the second longest streak between No.1 rankings in men’s or women’s tennis history (S.
Williams, 265 weeks).

“I am happy to regain the No.1 here in Paris as I feel like it’s close to home in Belgium,” Kim Clijsters
stated. “I’m proud that I have achieved this in my second career and as a mom. I hope that I can now go
on and win the tournament.”
“I congratulate Kim on achieving the World No.1 ranking once again in her career. It is incredible that
five years have passed since Kim was No.1, but the fans of women’s tennis are incredibly lucky to have
her back and playing the best tennis of her career. To be able to excel on the tennis court while being a
working mother is truly commendable,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA.

Clijsters has enjoyed a great beginning to the 2011 season, winning 15 out of 16 matches, highlighted
by capturing the 2011 Australian Open title, her fourth career Grand Slam, and reaching the final at the
Medibank International (Sydney) where she lost to China’s Li Na. In the past 52 weeks, Clijsters has won
five titles, including the 2010 US Open, the year-end WTA Championships (Doha), the Sony Ericsson
Open (Miami) and the Western & Southern Women’s Open (Cincinnati), in addition to the Australian
Open.

Clijsters is the owner of 41 WTA singles titles – 13th all time – and has 495 career match wins. She
boosted her career prize money earnings to more than $23 million at the Australian Open and ranks
third best all-time, behind Serena and Venus Williams, respectively. Since her WTA comeback in August
2009, Clijsters owns the best match winning percentage (.861, 68-11) and has won seven WTA singles
titles, including three of the last five Grand Slams.

TOTAL WEEKS AT WORLD NO.1

PLAYER DATE REACHED No.1 WEEKS*

Steffi Graf (GER) August 17, 1987 377
Martina Navratilova (TCH/USA) July 10, 1978 332
Chris Evert (USA) November 3, 1975 260
Martina Hingis (SUI) March 31, 1997 209
Monica Seles (YUG/USA) March 11, 1991 178
Serena Williams (USA) July 8, 2002 123
Justine Henin (BEL) October 20, 2003 117
Lindsay Davenport (USA) October 12, 1998 98
Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) September 13, 2004 39
Dinara Safina (RUS) April 20, 2009 26
Tracy Austin (USA) April 7, 1980 21
KIM CLIJSTERS (BEL) August 11, 2003 20
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) August 11, 2008 18
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) October 11, 2010 18
Jennifer Capriati (USA) October 15, 2001 17
Maria Sharapova (RUS) August 22, 2005 17
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) June 9, 2008 12
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (ESP) February 6, 1995 12
Venus Williams (USA) February 25, 2002 11
Evonne Goolagong (AUS) April 26, 1976 2


The good news is that a Slam winner sits on top of the WTA heap. I know her fans are happy for what she has accomplished in her second career. As usual the tired phrase "you can only beat who's across the net from you" will be repeated by some. My comment on this is not mine. It comes from a tennishead calling herself "Lilac".

As I have written before. I feel cheated. Clisjters was second tier in her era; never able to beat her rivals, Capriati, Serena, Venus, Henin for a trophy. Each is either retired or on the downside of their careers; and she's returned after a long rest to compete in a women's field with no great champions. Like I told Craig Hickman -- hey, if you can't win in your era, just wait and come back in a less competitive one to pick up slams. I'm no fan of Davenport, but I think it sucks that Clisjters has surpassed her in slam titles. Booo.


Not much more to say is there?

Miscellany

Dmitry Tursunov has learned the perils of social media at severe cost to his reputation as a player and a person. He tweeted today that he was stealing wi-fi from someone riding on the same train he was and then made what in my opinion was a slur aimed at people of Jewish descent. His major defense was that he dogs Russians as well and no one cared about that.

We're all adults here so lets be real. Every group has things that are considered peculiar to their cultural, racial or ethnic group. That said most people in today's world don't repeat those things outside of the group, and certainly not on a platform like Twitter where you never know who is following you and posts can go viral in a matter of minutes. I thought Tursunov would say "sorry" and disappear for awhile. Instead he continued to try and defend his comments. Speaking personally I stopped following a person who made insulting racial comments about Serena Williams.

I hope someone has gotten to Tursunov and his attempts at defending himself stop.

Tennis Talk

I'm sorry I don't remember the names of the commentators who covered the Milos Raonic vs Richard Berankis match in San Jose this afternoon but I applaud their analysis of the current situation in men's tennis especially as it relates to the United States.

Raonic as we know is a young Canadian who has been the story of 2011 so far. He is tall, with a huge serve and mobility similar to Juan Martin del Potro. Long story short the commentators talked about how the USTA would simply love to have a talent like Raonic but that none is forthcoming at this time. They spoke frankly about Andy Roddick having been the standard bearer for men's tennis in the States and that he may not have another Slam in him. They discussed the wisdom of regional vs national centers for up and coming players, and the allure that baseball, football and even hockey have on young American athletes. They talked about Roger Federer and how he seems to think the change in his style of play was his brainchild and that new coach Paul Annacone has not been given the credit he should be in Federer's public comments. They spoke about the Player Development structure in Spain and France and how France, while producing good players has not produced Grand Slam winners while Spain has. Guys, I don't know your names but I hope to hear more from you. I doubt very seriously that ESPN2 will hire you because you speak frankly and honestly. Enjoyed your broadcast.

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If Bethanie Mattek-Sands keeps it up she'll become known for more than just her on court attire. I read somewhere today that a lot of the credit for her improved level of play - she defeated Andrea Petkovic today in Paris - goes to Fed Cup Captain Mary Jo Fernandez. If so my hat is off to Mary Jo. She still has no business being a commentator but if she brings out the latent talent Bethanie has always had she deserves her props.

It should be noted that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is into the semi finals in Rotterdam after Tomas Berdych withdrew from the tournament due to illness.

There is also a flu epidemic sweeping Russia at the present time. As you all know Maria Sharapova withdrew from Paris due to a viral illness.

Both Alexandr Dolgopolov and Janko Tipsarevic have confirmed that the Tennis Integrity Unit has contacted them. The TIU is the sports anti-corruption arm that deals with suspicious betting. Dolgopolov said that he was not the only player contacted. "I wasn't really surprised because I knew some guys, you know, like Russian guys, they got those letters."

Janko Tipsarevic also confirmed that he was contacted over his three-set defeat to Horacio Zeballos in Moscow in October.

"I said to the TIU that I have no problem, they can send me a letter every week if they want," he told ubitennis.com. “All it needed was a phone call to my bank, to my phone company and I gave them everything. Easy, just took seven days, I sent them my account, the telephone list, everything they wanted, what’s the problem?"—

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1 comment:

TennisAce said...

Nice write up Savannah. I did not hear the commentary during the Raonic match but I believe it was Ted from Radio Tennis and perhaps Matt Cronin who were calling the match and having the discussion.

In relation to Federer and his coach, the man won 16 Grand Slam titles without Annacone by his side. He won a lot of them with his Davis Cup coach by his side. Should he then now go out and say to the media, well Paul is changing my game for the better and make it seem as if his former coach had nothing to do with his success over the years.

Right now Annacone has coached Fed in relation to his aggressiveness on court. That is good as most of his fans have been saying for years that he needed a coach/coach, not a coach/hitting partner. Fed had developed patterns of play that many players had studied and now could anticipate his shots. That is what players do and that is what they are supposed to do when they are going to play you.

What Annacone is now doing is giving Fed new weapons in his arsenal and Fed in turn is giving players new looks when he steps out on to the court. The American media would like Fed to gush all over Annacone but for me until Fed wins another major then and only then can he say well Annacone's influence helped me to do this.

It is a very delicate situation right now and the media as always are trying to see ghosts where there are no dead bodies.